Strengthening rehabilitative practices for detainees

Released 16/02/2017

The ACT Government has reiterated its commitment to the rehabilitation of male detainees at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC).

Minister for Corrections Shane Rattenbury today tabled the Government’s response to the Assembly’s Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety’s inquiry into the rehabilitation of male detainees at the AMC.

The Auditor-General finalised its report into rehabilitation of male detainees at the AMC in April 2015 and the ACT Government response was tabled in the ACT Assembly 4 June 2015.

On 8 March 2016 the Assembly was advised that the Standing Committee would inquire into, and report on, the Auditor-General’s report. Hearings were held in April and May last year and the Standing Committee’s findings were reported in August.

The Government has agreed to 10 of the 12 Standing Committee’s recommendations. These relate to improving the delivery of rehabilitation programs and data management at the AMC, strengthening oversight at correctional facilities and ensuring parliamentary privilege is adhered to.

It has noted an additional two recommendations proposed by the Committee relating to a human rights complaint mechanism and the adequacy of standing orders of the ACT Legislative Assembly.

“The Government has carefully considered the Standing Committee’s findings and will implement 10 of its recommendations to improve how we approach the rehabilitation of our detainees,” Minister Rattenbury said.

“As recommended by the Auditor-General, ACT Corrective Services is currently reviewing relevant policies and operating procedures under the Corrections Management Act 2007 to ensure it is well placed to deliver a more systematic approach to rehabilitating detainees at the AMC.

“ACT Corrective Services is also currently developing a comprehensive rehabilitation framework and will provide additional training to staff to better monitor and assess the effectiveness of rehabilitation strategies.”

A number of the Auditor-General’s recommendations relate to the creation of a structured day for detainees through the implementation of prison industries at the AMC. Recommendation 7 of the Standing Committee’s report emphasises this objective.

“Significant work has already been undertaken by ACT Corrective Services around implementing prison industries to create a structured day for detainees, with additional facilities opened in December,” Minister Rattenbury said.

“The Government will also engage the ACT business community to develop further options for creating meaningful activities for detainees as part of the next phase of the prison industries strategy.”

As part of the Government’s response to the findings of both the Standing Committee and the Independent Inquiry into the Treatment in Custody of Steven Freeman, an Inspectorate of Custodial Services will be established to strengthen oversight of the ACT’s correctional facilities.

- Statement ends -

Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases

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